Shaul Mofaz announces Kadima is leaving the gov't 370 R.
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
Kadima’s departure from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s national-unity
coalition ended efforts by dovish MKs in the party to split it, legislators
involved in the effort said Wednesday.
MKs who supported Tzipi Livni in
the March Kadima leadership race tried unsuccessfully to draft the seven people
necessary to leave the faction and the coalition. While their opinion of Kadima
leader Shaul Mofaz has not changed, they said that because the party left the
coalition, they would suspend their effort and remain loyal to their party – at
least for now.
The MKs said that in the future they could still try to
force a new leadership race in Kadima or draft the support of the 15 MKs
necessary for a hostile takeover of the party.
The efforts could be
impacted by the pace of former prime minister Ehud Olmert’s Holyland corruption
trial as well as the decision-making of another potential future Kadima leader,
former MK Tzachi Hanegbi.
Hanegbi – who left the Knesset in 2010
following a perjury conviction – vigorously opposed Kadima leaving the coalition
because he felt an agreement could be reached with Likud on equalizing the
burden of IDF service and because he supports nationalunity governments. He is
said to be reconsidering his future in Kadima.
There are MKs in Kadima’s
Right flank who want to leave the party, including Otniel Schneller and Yulia
Shamolov Berkovich, who voted against leaving the coalition. But they lack the
seven MKs necessary for a split, and the Kadima rebels on the Left refused to
join forces with their counterparts on the Right.
“They begged to be part
of our seven, but we said no, because we are not political opportunists,” said a
left-wing Kadima MK.